The Great Motorcycle Hunt of 2018
Spivey is now in the loving hands of my daughter. He was a faithful steed and I miss him. But I am very happy he is where he is.
This Spring I will get my next bike. Since I have a habit of researching the living shit out of damn near everything (especially purchases that are approaching (or slightly exceeding) $20k), it’s taken a while to get the choices, needs and wants, paired down to a manageable set of choices.
So, about these choices?
I’m getting old, and I’ve always been…picky. When I purchased my Yamaha Bolt, in 2013 (yep!), I was taken by it’s classic look. I hadn’t been on a bike in over 20 years! A 950 seemed a good choice, and though it felt a bit “small” for me, I relished the opportunity to get inside it, wrench it a bit, make it Mine.
The new bike will be bigger. I live in Colorado now, and here, bikes are more frequent, the drivers a bit friendlier. There are long, open roads and sweeping landscapes. I want to ride for hours in relative comfort. I don’t care if I need to modify the hell out of it…that’ll happen anyway! But I want it ready off the floor. If I want to take it out for a few hours directly from the showroom, so be it!
I also want it a little more…comfortable…than the Bolt. Great bike, bare bones…as it was meant to be! As I said, I’m getting old! A life spent breaking bones (mine, mostly) has caught up. I can afford a few creature comforts and fancy things, so they’re going on the godsdamned bike!
Get the hint? Good…let’s get to it.
And the finalists are…
In no certain order…
- The bike I do not want to want: The 2018 Triumph Bobber Black. This bike just screams “badass”, but it has hand warmers! But the fact is, it’s a factory bobber! This screams heresy! It oozes “hipster douchebag”. But I kinda want it!
- The “Outlier”: The 2018 BMW RnineT. I don’t know why…I know it’s my love for BMW and the soul they put in their machines…it’s a beautiful convergence! Another part is the utter versatility of this platform; you can literally turn this bike into anything! Just look along the Web and see some of the beautiful machines being churned out, based on this bike.
- The Horsemen of the Apocalypse: The 2018 Indian Springfield Darkhorse is a chunk of night cruising through the wind. Big, but not as heavy as you would expect. It has every comfort I could want, at the cost of some of the character I want. Yet, I can’t wait to take one out and put it to the test.
- Also in here is the 2018 Indian Chieftan Darkhorse…even more of a fortress, with a soft cushion.
- The “Monster”: This is one that keeps nagging at me, so I’ll ride it. I don’t dislike Harley…I just think their reputation has faltered in recent years. Indian is romping their asses (I just really wish they hadn’t gotten rid of Victory! I really had a wish for a Gunner), their fanatic fanbase can be like a bunch of Republicans watching CNN. But, this year they seem to have gotten off their asses! The Milwaukee 8 engine is fantastic and their new models are priced correctly, and designed right. So, I will take a long, hard look at the 2018 HD Fat Bob!
- The “Easy” Choice: If I took the Yamaha Bolt and moved to the next logical step up, I would probably come up with something like the 2018 HD Breakout. It’s a simple, beautiful, slightly raked out bike, and I love the look. Toss in the 114 engine and you have a smooth, powerful road chewing machine. I can’t wait to get on one and try it out!
5 choices…(it was originally 3, but keeps fluctuating). As the weather tries to decide what it’s going to do, the time will come to ride. That will decide everything. The chances are that I’ll find some crazy oddball bike I don’t know about yet, or something I’ve dismissed (Ducati Xdiavel, anyone?). Regardless, we’ll see.
I’d love to hear any thoughts, suggestions, comments!